It’s amazing I’ve found time for any writing at all this summer. Here’s a sampling of some other distractions….
I happened upon this great-looking permaculture resource from Chris Evans and Jakob Jesperson: The Farmers’ Handbook. It grows out of years of experience in Nepal but could be helpful anywhere.
Among a long list of foolish things I’m taking up in my maturing years, I can now add learning how to work with draft horses. I don’t know how far I’ll take this interest. One thing that sunk in at a recent weekend workshop is how steep the learning curve is and how dangerous it […]
On the day of the predicted rapture, I was too busy to follow the news of its not happening — busy taking care of all that was actually happening….
Urban homesteading is not usually the term I use to refer to what I’ve been doing for the best twelve years or so. I tend towards kitchen gardening or urban farming. And these days, I’m transitioning towards rural food production at Amaranta Farm. But I see those who do call themselves urban homesteaders as allies in the same movement, and I’d like to see that movement grow….
Elderberries are blooming in northeastern Oregon….
With all the rain out over the last few weeks and the challenges of getting the summer garden in, I’ve been grateful for food that sprouts with no effort on my part. I might not want stinging nettles in my cultivated garden, but I like having a patch on a distant corner of our property. […]
Rain. Day before last, it was relentless. We had a reprieve yesterday, and I got some planting done, but most of my garden is flooded and impossible to work. I’m already a week or two behind. In this short season, that could mean a lean year for vegetables. So when I woke at five this […]
On Thanksgiving, we couldn’t bear to slice and roast this huge homegrown potato face. Nor could we boil and mash it. So we pardoned it. I’d like to claim we did it in the tradition of pardons given for poultry on Thanksgiving, but it was nothing that grand. We just couldn’t bring ourselves to do it in.
A week later, I’m hungry for potatoes but still can’t cut into this one. Perhaps if I set if on a windowsill and let the eyes grow sprouts….
The cool, clear nights that make autumn so beautiful here in the Blue Mountains also bring frosts that kill tender vegetables. With the harvest spilling over boxes and racks around our tiny yurt, it’s a good time to reflect on what I learned this summer….
My mom made sauerkraut when I was a kid, and it was good. But during the years I lived in Nepal, I discovered a fermented world that went beyond cabbage….
I’m excited to try my new steam juicer on this first crop of wild elderberries. Mixed with a little honey, the juice disappears pretty fast in our home. But later batches may make it into jelly, wine, or apple pies.
In other gardens, I haven’t had much luck with bulbing onions. Rationing bed space in small spaces, I lavished most of my attention on more flashy vegetables: tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, corn. Walla Walla Sweet and friends: destined for the grill. But this year with plenty of space, I tried several different varieties of bulbing onions. […]
Some girls dream of being princesses. I’ll admit I dabbled in that too. I used to dress up in rummage store gowns and high heels and parade around with my friends through our Seattle neighborhood. Princess La Ratte blossoms Now, I have earthier dreams, like growing potatoes — lots and lots of potatoes. It’s not […]
I planted fifteen pounds of organic garlic last October and finished harvesting it this morning. Given that my soil needs more improvement (mostly a few more years of working in organic matter), I’m pleased with the results. Two Northwest heirlooms: Inchelium Red Nootka Rose I’m curing some of the garlic under the roof of the […]
It’s kind of ugly and horribly bitter, but the years I spent in Nepal have made it into comfort food — and one I sorely miss. How shall I prepare my first harvest of these? Karela ko achar? Or fried in ghee? Imagining either makes me dizzy with happiness. Baby bitter melon
Now that I’ve set up a shady place to work, I hope I can cultivate more patience for my dial-up connection. After all, what’s the hurry? While I wait five minutes for a photo to load, I can listen to cicadas singing, wrens scolding, and hummingbirds hovering nearby, trying by to buzz me out of […]
I left our yurt and garden in northeastern Oregon a week and a half ago for a brief vacation in central Oregon and a few days in Portland to catch up on some work and see my son. I’m eager to get back, especially since our current gravity-fed water supply is not reliable in the […]
I’ve been in Portland the last week, attending a graduation, visiting my son, and catching up on computer-related work. I’m heading back to the yurt and garden in Wallowa County tomorrow. I’ll be unable to do much on the internet without a long trip to town, so I figured I’d better post the garden photos […]